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The objective of this laboratory experiment is to demonstrate the differences between

laminar, turbulent, and transitional fluid flow, and the Reynolds numbers at which each


The apparatus used here to demonstrate critical velocity is based on that we

used by Professor Reynolds who demonstrated the nature of the two modes of motion
flowing in a tube,example laminar and turbulent. The unit is designed to be mounted on
P6100 hydraulic-bench and the quantity of water flowing through it can be measured and
timed using the hydraulic Bench Volume Tank and a suitable stopwatch. A bell
mounted glass tube790mm long overall by 16mm bore is mounted horizontally and
concentrically in a much larger diameter tube fitted with baffles. A uniform supply of
water can then be made to flow along the 16mm bore tube.The unit is fitted with a
constant head tank and the flow rate which can be varied by adjustment to the head tank
height, can be measured using the volume tank.A dye injector is situated at the entrance
to the 16 mm bore tube and thus it is possible to detect whether the flow is streamline or
Critical velocities and Reynolds number
Reynolds obtained the loss of pressure head in a pipe at different flow rates by measuring
the loss head (hf ) over a known length of pipe (l), from this slope of the hydraulic
gradient (i)was obtained.
When Reynolds plotted the results of his investigation of how energy head loss varied
with the velocity of flow, he obtained two distinct regions separated by a transition zone.
In the laminar region the energy loss per unit length of pipe is directly proportional to the
mean velocity. In the turbulent flow region the energy loss per unit length of pipe is
proportion to the mean velocity raised to some power, . The value of  being
influenced by the-roughness of the pipe wall.
For smooth pipes in this region but for very rough pipes.Example
The dimensionless unit Reynolds number (Re) = VD/ and has a value below
2000 for laminar flow and above 4000 for turbulent flow (when any consistent set
of units is used)  the transition zone lying in the region of Re
2000 4000 (example hypercritical velocity LCV at Reynolds number of
2000 and upper critical velocity UCV at Reynolds number of 4000)
Note that the value of Re obtained in experiments made with increasing rates of flow will
depend on the degree of care which has been taken to eliminate disturbance in the supply
and along the pipe. On the other hand, experiment made with decreasing flow
rates will show a value of Re which is very much less dependent on initial disturbance